Whenever you write a research paper on a particular subject, you will frequently need to give a summary of any earlier studies that have been done on the subject. For example, if your scientific paper is presenting a fear-conditioning experiment, you will most likely need to give a summary of prior fear-conditioning research. Normally, a literature review would be used to describe that summary.
When it comes to writing a literature review for a research paper, many researchers struggle. A literature review is a thorough summary of all the information that has been learned about a particular subject up to this point. It is used to strengthen any thesis or dissertation by conducting an investigation on the research question (dissertationwritinghelp, 2022).
When choosing a research topic, the first step is typically to educate yourself on the body of work that has already been done on the subject. It is the point where a student usually thinks about how to write a dissertation proposal. This information eventually becomes the basis for the literature review that you will write for your research paper. The literature review is an important pillar upon which your research idea is built because it provides context, relevance, and context to the research problem you are investigating.
This blog discusses how to write literature review by explaining the most known types of literature as well as discusses the proper way of writing it.
Types of Literature Reviews
Literature reviews can vary in their format, length, quantity, and depth of content. They can be anything from selective (a single word or a very small area of research) to exhaustive (a huge amount or range of works). Additionally, they can stand alone or be a component of a bigger work.
- Critical review
Aims to demonstrate that the writer has thoroughly researched and critically evaluated the quality of the literature. Goes beyond simple description and incorporates some level of conceptual innovation. Typically, the outcome is a hypothesis or mode.
- Scoping review
An initial assessment of the potential size and scope of the available research literature. It aims to define the type and quantity of available research (usually including current research). The scoping reviews are helpful for analyzing new information when it is not yet clear what additional, more specific questions can be raised and beneficially addressed by a more focused systematic review (Munn et al., 2018).
- Systematized review
Try to incorporate some aspects of the systematic review process without going all the way to it. Typically carried out as a postgraduate student assignment
- Rapid review
Analyzing what is currently known about standards or practice issues by conducting a search and critical evaluation of the available research
- Systematic review
Seeks to systematically find, evaluate, and synthesize research evidence, frequently adhering to review guidelines.
- Umbrella review
refers specifically to the process of gathering data from various reviews and compiling it into a document that is both accessible and useful. It highlights reviews that discuss these competing interventions as well as their results with a focus on a broad condition or problem.
- Argumentative review
This method selectively examines the literature to prove or disprove a claim, a deeply held presumption, or a philosophical conundrum that has already been founded in the literature. The goal is to create a body of writing that promotes an opposing viewpoint. However, when used to make summary claims similar to those found in systematic reviews, they can introduce bias issues.
How to Conduct a Literature Review
Following these steps can be helpful when writing a literature review. Please take note that these guidelines can be used to create a full-length article that serves as a literature review on its own, rather than just a literature review that is a part of a larger piece of writing.
- Decide what you’ll be reviewing and define the subject
The topic, which is usually some kind of research question (or problem), must be identified and defined as precisely as possible. To properly search for references and write a clear summary of the study on it, you must have an idea of what you’ll be reviewing.
- Conduct a search of the literature
Search databases like PsycINFO and others for relevant articles using a variety of keywords. You should concentrate on scholarly articles that have been peer-reviewed. Although published books can be useful, peer-reviewed articles are generally regarded as the “gold standard” of scientific research.
- Go over your research and make notes
Gather as much knowledge as you can. Take notes as you read the books and articles you have discovered. Any information that can help you develop your own understanding of the subject and facilitate writing the literature review should be included in the notes. You may find that some references are more useful than others, that there are trends or jarring contrasts among the sources, and that some sources refer to additional sources that may be of interest. This is frequently the most time-consuming step in the review process.
- Make an outline of your notes and thoughts
You are almost finished writing the review at this point. To start, it is frequently beneficial to think back on all of your reading. What are the most noticeable patterns? Do the various sources agree on anything? Or not? What unanswered questions remain? In order to present these studies in your literature review, you should review your notes and consider how you will do so.
- Create the actual literature review and make necessary edits and revisions
The final step is to write. As you write, remember that literature reviews typically have a summary style where prior research is briefly described to explain key findings but does not go into great detail. Individual studies, however, may receive varying amounts of attention. A first draft should be carefully read after you’ve finished it, and then it should be edited and revised as necessary. This procedure may need to be repeated several times. It may be beneficial to have someone else read and provide feedback on your draft(s).
- Publish a draft of your research paper that includes the literature review
You should include the results of the literature review in your research paper once it is finished.
Any kind of literature review that is used in a study must be written using the proper format and structure. Try to stay away from emotive language and assertions that aren’t backed up by facts. The researcher should also refrain from using unrelated or unreliable sources. Selecting the proper review type and creating a logical structure must be prioritized.
DP., (2022). Chapter 2 literature review. Online Available at <https://dissertationwritinghelp.uk/chapter-2-literature-review> [Accessed on 18th August 2022]
Munn, Z., Peters, M. D., Stern, C., Tufanaru, C., McArthur, A., & Aromataris, E. (2018). Systematic Review or scoping review? guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-018-0611-x